A dilemma has struck the publishing world this week. How do you make that little tail thingy on the C in Pierre Garçon's name? More importantly, if we can't figure it out does that make us worse than Paul Shirley?
In case you were wondering, the "thingy" is called a cedilla. It's a diacritical mark that modifies the pronunciation of a letter, like the umlaut or the accent grave. In French, it only exists as a variation on the letter C. French is one of the two official languages of Haiti. Haiti is where ... oh, right.
So if you want to talk about Pierre Garçon this week, you have a choice. Find the HTML code for a c-cedilla (it's ç for lowercase or #199 for upper) or simply refuse to bow to the vagaries of the French language and risk being seen as insensitive to the plight of Haitian refugees. Because when it comes to talking about Pierre Garçon this week, you have no choice. The pride of Mount Union set an AFC Championship Game record with 11 catches and since the departure of Marvin Harrison, has become a key cog in the prolific Indianapolis Colts offense.
Also, his parents came to the United States from Haiti and you can't talk about much of anything these days without mentioning the terrible earthquake that struck there. Garçon is not the only Haitian-American in the NFL or even in the Super Bowl. (The Saints' Pierre Thomas and Jonathan Vilma are in that club too.) But Garçon is the one who carried the Haitian flag to the podium after his big game against the Jets. His three older sisters were born there. And he has that cedilla in his name and on his jersey! Tough to ignore that.
The Saints have their own natural disaster angst that would naturally unite them with the plight of Haitians, but Garçon ensures that no one side has a monopoly on being the people's (of Haiti) champion. Every big play he makes raises awareness (and probably money) for his homeland and that's about the best that sports can do. Especially since the Super Bowl itself is the reason that refugees can't come to Florida right now. Sorry!
Try us next week, when we aren't so preoccupied with Hooters commercials.
With mind on Haiti, Colts' Pierre Garcon playing at highest level [USA Today]
Garcon reaches big game of his dreams [Picture via Fort Wayne Journal Gazette]
Super Bowl concerns among reasons cited for temporarily stopping transport of Haiti's earthquake victims to Florida [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]